Despite the portrayal of tech jobs as challenging, highly paid, interesting and generally cool, some spots are simply tedious, dehumanizing and sometimes deadly. At least that’s what InfoWorld says. Its rundown of the worst tech jobs includes positions in retail, manufacturing, IT support, services and, surprisingly, management. Admittedly, many of these positions are somewhat on the periphery of tech, but all in all, the list illustrates how sometimes our cutting edge industry isn’t all so cutting edge after all.
Here’s a look.
The Most Miserable
Having a corporate role — and getting better pay — doesn’t always make for a happy worker. In a tally of reviews, the website CareerBliss reports that IT directors despise their jobs more than anyone else. Long hours and a separate office, apparently, aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, especially when you combine them with responsibilities like personnel management, deadline management and budget accountability.
Technical support specialists are some of the unhappiest workers in the U.S. These call center employees are the bored folks on the other end of the phone when your computer or software goes awry.
But Amazon mechanical turk probably tops the list for the most tedious and menial job. Named for an 18th century chess machine secretly run by humans, mechanical turks get pennies to input data from surveys and other sources.
Then there are Google’s content cops, contractors who face the dehumanizing task of continuously poring through and eliminating offensive material such as images of child porn (ick) and bestiality (more ick).
The retail world topped InfoWorld’s list with a number of jobs, including Microsoft store employee, RadioShack store employee and online retail fulfillment center worker. Dealing with customers is never an easy thing to do, but Microsoft store employees have the tough role of hawking products that aren’t as shiny and desirable as iPhones and Macs. RadioShack staff might have it even harder, working long hours with low pay and big pressure to hit sales targets. Employees at fulfillment centers for online retailers like Amazon face grueling overtime, backbreaking work and a demanding point system for moving boxes.
The Woes of Semiconductors
A number of manufacturing positions don’t bring much joy, either. While semiconductor processors may get pretty good pay, they’re also watching jobs dry up as people are replaced with robots.
The Most Dangerous
Cell tower climbers have it much, much worse. According to a report from ProPublica and PBS’s Frontline, cell tower climbers die at 10 times the rate of construction workers. The head of Occupational Safety and Health Administration once called cell tower climbing the most dangerous job in the U.S., says InfoWorld. These folks work long hours for low pay, and receive relatively little training before they take on the most dangerous job in tech. Why include this? Well, these are the folks who make sure all of that development work gets to the people who take advantage of it.
Image: Wikimedia Commons